Five Popular Posts Of The Month

Friday, November 15, 2019

Welcome! And don't judge the blog by its "cover", please.

 

 


 Dr. Voroshilov: from A to Z; (Professional past, present, and future of a driven professional, an eloquent expert, a productive author, and a collaborative colleague)


·                The Full List Of Posts
·                Politics
·                Artificial Intelligence
·                Fundamentals of Quantum Physics 
·                Full List Of Post On Education
·                Philosophy Of Education
·                Strategies For Teaching Science

Executive Summary of Professional Experience
(An excerpt from the full description of my path)
(I) Teaching
(A) Groups
5th-graders; 6-th graders; 7-th graders; 8-th graders; 9-th graders; 10-th graders; 11-th graders; 12-th graders; 2-year college students; 4-year college students; university students; school teachers; school administrators; district administrators.
(B) Subjects
Physics for Engineers (two semesters); Elementary Physics (two semesters); algebra, geometry; trigonometry; formal logic; problem solving; group theory (discreet and continuous); methods for teaching science courses; methods for advancing individual teaching practice; managing innovations in education (initiation, implementation, growth, support, assessment, audit).
(II) Managing/Consulting
Assistant to Director of an Institute; Director of Department of computerization and information technologies; Director of Center for Development of City School system; member or a team, leader of a group of consultants for schools and school districts (initiation, implementation, growth, support, assessment, audit of innovations in education).
(III) Learning
graduated from schools with high GPA; participated in a wide range of extracurricular activities; developed personal approach to teaching (flipped the classroom before the approach was described in publications); published papers on various aspects of advancing education; converted publications into PhD theses and then found an adviser; moved to a country without knowing the language; learned the language; learned how to teach using foreign language; started publishing in foreign language.

P.S. A large portion of my ideas come to me while I am in traffic or in a swimming pool. During the day there is not often much of a time to formalize them in a fashionable way. Most of my post are written in one seating as a raw flaw of thoughts. This blog is the best I can do. Well, so far - let's wait for retirement (and the memoir! ). However, I welcome anyone who would like to coauthor a piece and transform it from my "singing as you go" to a fashionable publishable form - polish statements, new points, references, ... . And also, if someone would find in any of my posts a useful idea and used it, I would appreciate a reference to the original.
(C) Education Advancement Professionals consulting services

We, Humans, are the only anti-entropic force in the whole Universe! Everyone has to do his/her part in fighting chaos! That's why the Universe crated us.
P.S.S.
From On the Definition of AI
"This is what teachers can do! From the NASA's "Brief History of Rockets"
https://www.grc.nasa.gov/www/k-12/TRC/Rockets/history_of_rockets.html
“In 1898, a Russian schoolteacher, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935), proposed the idea of space exploration by rocket. In a report he published in 1903, Tsiolkovsky suggested the use of liquid propellants for rockets in order to achieve greater range. Tsiolkovsky stated that the speed and range of a rocket were limited only by the exhaust velocity of escaping gases. For his ideas, careful research, and great vision, Tsiolkovsky has been called the father of modern astronautics.”


What is the difference between an expert and a professional?
A professional does what is needed to be done.
An expert explains - why.  
How do people become professionals?
By accumulating professional experience.
How do people become experts?
By reflecting on accumulated professional experience.                                                        

A Master is an expert professional.

My Mentors taught me a secret of becoming a master teacher:
There are ONLY two rules for becoming a Master
1. Learn from the Masters;  
2. Never stop pushing yourself.

"In order to be able to think you have to risk being offensive" (From Jordan B. Peterson), because ability to take risk is correlated with curiosity (only curious people are capable of taking risk; people who play it safe have no curiosity and hence a vision). 

Disclaimer 
I am an "investigative blogger". I insert myself into a situation I study and then I expose all BS I found there (BTW: BS means "beyond sense-making). I  am not an idiot or a reckless person. The reason I can allow myself writing what I think, even if that is perpendicular to commonly adopted and conventional views, is that my financial situation is sufficient and stable. Of course, as a normal person, I wouldn't mind making more money, or being involved in more interesting projects (as described in my generic resume). But I do not have to pretend to be someone I'm not to make my living. I am aware of the fact that my chance to find many professionals with similar views is slim. The demand for "professional correctness" is taken to such an extreme that it has become a demand for personal conformity. I believe in telling truth. Truth is facts. Facts are science. Facts can be upsetting or encouraging, but facts cannot be offensive. I also know (and fine with that) that the chance that my writing will have a significant effect is negligible. But the butterfly effect exists, so the chance is not exactly zero.

Welcome! And don't judge the blog by its "cover", please.

Monetary Feudalism v. Authoritarian Capitalism, or Why Does Putin Smile?

Why Does Putin Smile?
or,
Monetary Feudalism v. Authoritarian Capitalism.
Hundreds of years ago Europe was divided into numerous small provinces. Life was simple. Peasants where growing crops and animals. About one third of that they would give away to a Count, or a Baron. Plus, peasants had to work on the Baron’s land and in the Baron’s farms.
What would happen if a peasant refused to work or give up his food?
The Baron would send his army/police/militia.
Why would the army work for a Baron?
Because the army men did not grow up any food, so they would have to rely on a Baron; and a Baron would provide a roof and food for the solders.
A Baron would also store “his” food for a “rainy day”, or used it to barter with another Count, to buy a healer, or an astrologist.
Of course, sometimes things would go South.
Peasants would rise up, or a colonel would instigate a coupe.
But after a revolution time, life would come back to the original pace, with a new Baron, new army, and the same peasants. Counts, barons and colonels would come and go, but peasants would remain peasants.

Time passed, and eventually feudalism evolved and was replaced by capitalism.

But capitalism also was not static, it was evolving, it was changing, it had stages and phases. The capitalism we see now is very much different from the capitalism that existed forty years ago.

Google “income inequality” and you’ll learn that about 50% of the wealth belongs to about 1 % of a population.

Yes, one half of the Earth belongs to 1 % of the population, and the other 99 % should fight for another half of it – “divide and conquer!” in action.

It also means a very simple thing – there are about 7,700,000,000/100 = 77,000,000 or seventy-seven million Barons on the Earth, and everyone else, that is about 7.6 billion people, gives away - willingly!- to them about 50 % of everything they make.

This is no different from paying a racket that comes with a territory when you open your business in a certain region/country.


Eighty per cent of Americans have to fight for only 10 % of American wealth.

But let us stick to the Earth population. There, ninety-nine “peasants” out of every hundred of people give 50 % of what they make to one Baron (on average).

Why? For what?

My answers are: it’s God’s will; for being an inspiration – “One day I can become a Baron!”

Just kidding (BTW: “Everyone can become a president” is “The biggest lie of humanity”).

The reason everyone puts up with this situation is that it is a tradition. 
"Baron, why do you I have to give you away my wealth?" 
"Peasant! Because that is my law!"
"Tahnk you Baron, no I understand, please, take it".

90 % of people have no time or capabilities (education, culture) to think about this new racket – hence, to re-think this tradition.

And, this 50 % “tax to the rich” (do not confuse with a “tax for the rich”) goes for nothing.

This amount of wealth just gives the rich levers they need to manipulate with the system in their favor, to get even more rich. If nothing changes, soon they will be taking 60 % of what everyone makes (some more details are in “Conservative Liberals – future Porgs of the political America”).

Progressive media regularly accuse the rich in manipulating the system via bribes, lobbyists, and brainwashing tactics using conservative mass media. And that may be a case. But the most important tool the rich use to get from the politicians anything they want is an extreme private property protection. When they don’t like the political atmosphere, they just freeze their money. Nothing gets moving, nothing gets done, people get angry and replace “bad” politicians. Simple! Why else do you think construction and infrastructure projects have been dormant for years, but now you can see a new building is being erected almost every other block?

The only question new capitalistic Barons ask is “Will this make me richer?” "No? Then f#ck it."

On a surface, new Barons and the government are separated, or even competing. But in the reality, as we just saw, the government is in the pockets of the rich, because new Barons can replace the government fairly easy, and the government cannot do anything about that, and anything about Barons.

Even federal and some of state taxes everyone pays in actuality belong to Barons; they just use a small portion from those taxes to buy government officials and politicians and pay them for the good job those do to protect the status quo, and take the rest into their vaults via different “government programs or projects” (starting from the military budget).

The central, the core property of capitalism is free enterprise, is a fair competition between individuals. This property has ceased to exist. The market areas have been divided between several few gigantic corporations. “Big business jammed the wheels of innovation”. “Consolidated corporate power is keeping many products’ prices high and quality low”. The main reason for the overall decline in economic state of many Americans that eventually has lead to Donald Trump is unprecedented concentration of capital (as well as general frustration with the rise in sloppiness all around). And currently there is no single politician who knows what to do about it (majority even not mention this as a problem - I wonder why). The concentration of capital has also led price hikes (especially pharmaceutical products) and significant drop in quality of products and services - because when no one can control you, why bother? Professional pride for the quality of work has ceased to exist (except in Hollywood, so far).

We still could call this economic state “capitalism” since the economy is based on the use/flow of capital. But this capitalism functions like an old-fashioned feudal system, where few Barons take from “peasants” everything they want. So, a better term to call it is “Monetary Feudalism”.

The only really new thing the old feudalism didn’t have and this new Feudalism has is mass media.

To keep “peasants” in line, the new Barons use mass media and deliberately poor educational system. It is much easier to brainwash people who are illiterate and ignorant in the first place, and then feed them with any nonsense you want, than use oppressive armed forces everywhere across the country.

I am not the first and not the only one who criticizes the way current “capitalism”, a.k.a. “Monetary Feudalism”, works.

The question is what do Progressives like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, et al. offer to replace it with?

They want to take money from the rich and give it to the government, so the government would regulate all important aspects of peoples’ life by using those money to make life of poor people better.

This idea is far from new (just google “take from rich give to poor”). The execution, though, always was with some kinks: first – a revolution, then some settling time, then – Napoleon Bonaparte, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong.

I wrote about a political aspect of this idea in “What is wrong with Socialism. Really.”

Now I just mention one (of many) governing aspect of it.

When the government regulates all important aspects of peoples’ life, it wants to do it as much as possible and as long as possible, and – eventually – with the least control.

And I’m not saying this is a bad or a good idea – who am I to judge?

I’m just saying that America progressives are populists – exactly like Trump, but they just riding a different wave of populous; and they both – Trump and Progressives – want to convert America into a country with a strong government, where the government dominates politics.

Trump wants to do it to keep (mostly) white and super-rich Americans in power. Progressives want to do it to “empower the poor”. But in the end, both competing political forces want the same – a government with much stronger executive power.

Trump and Sanders (here his name is used as a symbol for all socialists) are populists. However, they have different bases. And neither of the members of those bases follow their leaders to fight for democracy and freedom.

Trump’s base wants jobs and security (in their specific sense). Trump’s call is “Make me a King and I will give you jobs and will secure your future! I will make our enemies to pay, and to do what I want. And for that I need strong executive power!”.

Senders’ base wants free stuff. “Make me the President and I will give you free college, free health care, free food! Where will I get the money? I'll take them from the rich! I will write the laws and tax code that will work for you! What if the rich will sabotage my laws? I will force them into giving up their money.”

And how will he enforce the rich to give up their fortunes?

He will need a strong executive branch of government. 

"People, when I am the President, Barons will remain Barons, peasants will remain peasants, but I promise you, I will create a special Peasant Army, and after Barons collect their money from peasant, the Peasant Army will take back some of it and will give it back to peasants!"

Of course, I used simplification, or using science language, I built the basic model - that one that is simple enough to grasp the essence of a phenomenon. But look at what media do - they not just simplify things, they trivialize them, they make the things so dumbed-down, for example, they make people to think that the impeachment hearing is almost certainly going to result in removing Donald Trump from the office. Nothing can be further from truth than that, e.g. "The Impeachment is Over. What's Next?"

In my model both, Trump and Sanders will be making executive branch of the government stronger and stronger. They will be pushing (due to different reasons, though) for a special type of capitalism – Authoritarian Capitalism.

Not a new development, by the way. In 1921, after Bolsheviks won the Civil War and secured their power, Russian economy was absolutely shattered. Lenin made a genius move, he allowed private initiative. He argued that with the strong Bolshevik government individual private initiative will not become a political danger. He called it New Economic Policy under “state capitalism”. It helped –  in three years Russia was able to surpassed pre-Revolution production in agriculture.

In China, Deng Xiaoping used the same approach to transform the country from chaotic Marxists dictatorship into strong market-based but government-controlled economy.

The governing system that both Trump and Sanders what to develop is not new. It exists right now in such countries like Russia and China. If either Trump or Sanders become the President, a similar transition may be in the works in America. They both will be converting America into China or Russia.

That is why Putin smiles.

In 2016 Vladimir Putin was working hard to prevent Hilary Clinton from being elected. His intervention was not decisive, but was helpful for Trump (internal American problems plaid the most decisive role in Trump’s victory, and the top problem was and still is “Degradation of White Male American Elite”). In 2020 Putin does not need to choose. Trump or Sanders – does not matter, America will be sucked deep into transitioning for becoming China/Russia.

And that is why Vladimir Putin smiles every time when someone asks him about America.

What if an establishment candidate, e.g. Joe Biden (Michael Bloomberg, Deval Patrick) will win the election?

Any of them will try to continue politics established by the establishment, hence, they will try to reverse all the Trump’s doings and return to Obama’s political line, based on reason and compromises. That’s also good for Putin. So, nothing that happens in America can make him frown.

Right now America is at war – at war with itself, within itself. Millions are sucked into an impeachment process, despite the fact that the outcome of it is highly predictable (e.g. “The impeachment is Over. What’s Next?”). Energy, time, money are being spent on things that will not make any difference. The most discussed economic question is – how to redistribute money?

Until some people will finally start analyzing – what is the difference between money and wealth?; how wealth is produced?; what is the political role of wealth? – politics will remain no different from circus.

Appendix I

Let’s touch on the role of government: what does it do, what is its mission, what is its purpose?

A society is a complicated system – like a human body. A body has organs; a society has groups, classes, layers, strata.

Every system has a governing part – in a body it is a brain; in a society it is government.

A brain is a governing organ of a body.

A government is a governing organ of a society.

Simple.

When a brain is ill, even a healthy body does not produce anything useful, and eventually its organs suffer.

When a government is corrupt, society suffers, people are getting hurt.

A liver or a hart cannot turn to a brain and demand – “Do your job better”, but people can – and that is what democracy is about.

The mission of a brain is to govern a body in such a way that provides long and happy life.

The mission of government is to govern a society in such a way that all people would sustain (not just pursuit) long and happy life.

Hence, the number one criterion of how good a government is at doing its job is how many people have long and happy life.

Longevity and happiness.

Period.

Or in one word - prosperity. 

A good society is a prosperous society - not just for a select few but for everyone. 

Prosperity of people is the mission and the purpose of a goverment.

Different countries should compete with each other in the race to the prosperity (and the U.S. starts to loosing this race).

For achieving prosperity for all government has to establish rules of engagement/behavior/business (a.k.a. laws), and instruments for following those rules.

When a body is functioning in a normal environment, each organ functions in a routine regular manner.

When society is functioning in a normal environment, each group of it functions in a routine and regular manner. No government interference is required on a regular basis. However, strong changes in the environment make a system unstable, and the government must find the right way to address the changes. Unfortunately, very often that requires a strong executive power, and that is why we observe “The Dawn of The Era of Dictatorships”.

Appendix II

Some specific details on wealth production and management are available in “Creativity, Tax Code, and Human Psychology”.

Creativity, Tax Code, and Human Psychology.


Creativity, Tax Code, and Human Psychology.
Part I (short): Who are the real wealth creators?

I want to start from a copy of the Facebook post by Dr. Reich (@RBReich)
"This morning Trump tweeted: "We are the highest taxed nation in the world - that will change."
Baloney. The most meaningful measure is taxes paid as a percentage of GDP. As you can see from the graph below, the U.S. has the 4th lowest taxes of any major economy. (Only South Korea, Chile, and Mexico ranking lower.)
And the wealthiest 1 percent in the U.S. pay the lowest taxes as a percent of their income and total wealth of any country anywhere – and lower than they’ve ever paid even in the U.S.
Once again, Trump and the Republicans are dealing with a non-problem, while ignoring the biggest problems. What do you think?"

This is what I think about this tweet.

Let’s use our brain to do what it is supposed to do, i.e. think.

Imagine that one day all Wall Street brokers disappeared, the NY Stock market isn’t open, all bankers are gone, too. And everyone who owns more than a hundred million bucks is out. What would happen?

Well, at first – confusion, chaos, even panic, but soon enough new people would come and make the wheels run. It would have been a bumpy ride, but at the end a new structure would be put in place and functioning.

Now imagine that all low and middle level working folks are gone. No more baristas, drivers, nurses, teachers, professors, policemen, firemen, engineers, etc., etc. The world is left with only people who own more than $100,000,000. I am pretty sure, soon enough most of them would just die from starving.

This mental experiment is an illustration of the important fact, that people who own a lot of money are NOT wealth creators. People who work every day helping each other and creating new things – food drinks, cloth, devices – those people are wealth creators. The only reason riches are rich is because they collect from everyone – from every single one – some of the wealth created by that one (I named it “Monetary Feudalism”). And the portion they collect has been growing and growing – disproportionally, without any reasonable explanation.  Simply because the rules have been bent in such a way that the most of the wealth created by people is taken away from them – the distribution of the wealth is being skewed greatly to the benefit of very few. And taxes play a huge role in this distribution. Not to see it means being blind, or bought, or brainwashed.

Part II (long)
What to do with the tax code? What to do with the Federal budget? How to pay for the Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare/Trumpcare, and many other government funded programs? How to close the budget deficit?
These questions are not new, but for at least two decades no major political party have been even trying to start a serious discussion about changing the tax code.
Until now!
It is interesting to think about why, in order to start tackling such a difficult problem like a tax reform, did the Country need to elect as the President of the United States of America such an odious figure as Donald Trump?
I have published several posts on the matter, so I will not be addressing this issue in this post (e.g. “Why Did Clinton Lose The Race?”).
But what also caught my attention is the fact that the conversation about taxes is stuck in the fight between two ideological dogmas.
The dogmas, which have been developed about forty or fifty years ago, and do not reflect any more the current economic and social realty.
That automatically means that no matter which one of the two dogmas prevail, 99 % of American people will lose anyway (unless the third path will be found).
The first dogma states that cutting taxes boosts economy, it leads to a drop in unemployment and to a growth in wages. Based on this dogma, no tax can be ever raised; a tax raise in any form is forbidden.
This dogma was developed before the globalization, the Internet, the WWW, the AI boosted robotization, and before restructuring of the global powers. Hence, it is outdated (and there are numerous data proving that it does not work anymore).
The second dogma states that only broad federal regulations can keep the balance between the needs of regular Americans and the needs of big corporations and wealthy individuals. Based on this dogma, government has to widen its regulatory actions, and grow its regulatory entities.
This dogma is also outdated due the same reasons, especially due to globalization.
The problem with dogmas is that they prevent people from searching for solutions outside of the mainstream views. Any idea which does not fit into the limits placed by a dogma is automatically rejected without being given any consideration.
It is worth to take a closer look at what a dogma is, and how a dogma evolves (a short detour into the philosophy of science and the theory of human activity).
First, a dogma is just a commonly accepted statement (or a set of statements) about certain principles which govern peoples’ actions.
Those statements have not been written in the sky, or unearthed from underground.
Those statements have been developed “by the people, and for the people”.
Dogmas have not always been dogmas.
At the beginning of their time, they were paradigms, beacons of the new ideas. Initially, only few people used them in their everyday life. In time, more and more people accepted those principles as the governing principles for their actions (because they worked!). Eventually, people have forgotten that those paradigms have been developed under specific circumstance for answering specific questions about life, to solve specific problems of those times. Eventually, the paradigms have become statements which had to be accepted without any questioning – i.e. dogmas. Time passes, life changes, but dogmas remain still, and soon some people start noticing a divide between the needs of the life and the dogmas, which only grows with time. When that happens, the society starts to experience the need for new paradigms.
When that happens, people who are willing to think beyond the dogmas begin offering new ideas, new approaches to solutions to problems at hand. Many of those ideas may be silly, or crazy, but they create a fertile soil for a new paradigm, and one of those ideas becomes a seed from which that new paradigm eventually grows up.
Now one can predict which new idea will eventually outlive all other ideas and become commonly accepted as the new guiding principle.
That is why it is so important to not just shovel away anything which does not fit in the limits set by the current dogmas, but give a fare consideration to many of them. Of course, without some filtering, scientists, researcher, politicians, political strategists may be drowned under the shower of views, ideas, propositions. Currently, the filtering is based on the “halo effect” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_effect), which is basically asking “who says that?” instead if “does it make sense?”.
The better process of selecting new ideas for a further deeper consideration should be based on the answers to the questions like:
 – what do we want to achieve?
– what is our ultimate goal?
– what is wrong with what we have now, and what do we want to fix, what change do we want to see in the end?
– how will we know that our goal has been achieved?
I like to summarize this strategy in a concept map (I like using mapping for teaching physics: but mapping is a universal way of representing connections).
BTW: the result of this reflective action heavily depends on how good is the person’s imagination (everything is happening in his or her mind!), and imagination is best developed via reading (not via watching TV, or playing videogames, which also help with development some psychological functions, but NOT imagination; learning physics is also greatly boosts imagination).
When I listen to news, the first thing I notice every time, is that neither party offers specific measures to assess the success achieved as the result of their proposals. I cannot get a hand on any specific data which would be related to the future of my life. This makes me feel afraid of that no matter which plan will win, my life will be negatively affected.
This is when my imagination starts acting out, because I don’t understand what is happening.
When I don’t hear a clear reason, when I don’t see a clear picture, my mind starts creating its own arguments, which would make sense to me.
When those arguments become relatively clear, I write them down, and publish on my blog (my way of venting out, I suppose).
There is nothing special about that.
By design, all a human brain does, is absorbing information, processing information, and producing new information. Then, consciously or subconsciously, the new information affects human actions. If the new information stays inside, it affects actions of only one person. If the new information is brought outside (in the form of a speech, a gesture, a picture, written words, signs, symbols, songs, a physical contact), it may affect several people, or even a massive number of people (an example of such effect is the case of Facebook and Twitter political ads of 2016 elections cycle).
But let’s return back to our conversation about taxes, and apply the described strategy to designing a new approach to a tax reform.
What is the ultimate goal of the tax code?
Everyone involved in the debate must give an answer to this question.
My answer is: “The ultimate goal of the tax code is regulating wealth distribution in such a manner that all citizens would be able to live a decent life”.
This answer has two words which are more important than all other, which are “all” and “decent”.
These words need a further description, a further detalization.
For me “all” literally means “all” – no exceptions under any circumstances.
The meaning of “decent” is not so easy to establish. For example, it may be different for people who currently serve a conviction due to a committing a crime.
For this conversation, the exact meaning of “decent” is not important.
What important is that my definition of the goal for the tax code immediately differentiate all people into four categories: the ones who agree, the ones who disagree, the ones who do not care, and the ones who are not sure.
There is no point in trying to make people who disagree or don’t care to change their mind. That would be just a waste of time and energy. The main goal is finding people who are agree, and the main target should be people who are not sure, i.e. who could be swung (a.k.a. swing voters).
If you and I are agree on the main goal, we can start talking about details.
For example, what does “decent” mean?
How much does one (anyone) need to maintain a decent life?
What are the biggest obstacles to achieving the goal?
What are the biggest threats to achieving the goal?
Etc.
The other day I watched an interview with one of the Nobel laureates in economics (do not remember the name). He said that he sees only two options:
1. eventually all taxes will have to be raised,
or
2. eventually all federal programs will essentially be closed.
That made sense to me. That statement represented a clear model:
1. more money into federal chests, and keeping working federal programs.
or
2. no money into federal chests, and having no federal programs.
Closing all major federal programs would be disastrous for the Country, because that would significantly lower the quality of life for many Americans (that is my belief).
That would be moving away from the goal.
That means, that whether we like it or not, but the biggest threat to achieving the goal is low taxes.
That means, that whether we like it or not, but we have to call for higher taxes (and, of course, simpler and more transparent tax code).
Colling for raising taxes is exactly what all politicians are afraid the most.
The reason they are scared of calling for higher taxes is that they do not believe that American people are wise enough to use a common-sense logic.
Simply saying, many American politicians believe that American people are stupid.
From my point of view, that makes many American politicians to be unwise (at the least).
For example, talking about “income inequality” is unwise.
People who talk about various aspects of “income inequality” do not know what people with a low income actually want. If all those pundits would ask anyone who lives a paycheck to a paycheck what do they think about “income inequality”, those pundits would learn that people do not care about how much Warren Buffet makes a year; they care about how much they make a year, and that it is not much at all.
Instead of talking about “income inequality” those pundits should have been talking about income insufficiency.
That was just an example of the fact that many politicians and political analysts do not know psychology of a common man.
Naturally, saying “your tax will go up” will not gain any support.
But I am sure that most people would at least think about options, if they heard: “To save the economy from a crash, to keep the safety net provided by the government, everybody will have to pay a higher tax. Every American will have to do his or her part. Well, people who are well below the “decent life” line, will not be affected, and the raise will greatly depend on the individual income, and for the most of Americans the change will not be significant. However, this action will allow us to restructure our economy in such a way that we will not only prevent economic crash, we will be able to gradually move all Americans above the poverty line. People with an insufficient income will be getting help from government to sustain their life at the “decent” level, but with the help of the government and in collaboration with the businesses the number of Americans with an insufficient income will gradually decline to zero. That is the ultimate goal of the tax reform!”

Can this be done?


Our politicians also do not know the psychology of the wealthy Americans. That is why they treat them either as enemies (the Democrats), or as gods (the Republicans, who call them “job creators”, although I doubt that it is a correct name for people who closed about 60,000 factories!)
Of course, wealthy Americans are neither gods nor enemies; they are just people who want to maximize their wealth, or to preserve their wealth by affecting the political process into their favor. Which is absolutely natural intention for such people. This intention should be used in order to navigate their energy into the direction leading to general social gains.
A tax reform cannot happen without addressing two big problems: healthcare spending and entitlement spending.
The Republicans want cut the programs to save money, the Democrats want to increase the spending.
They cannot find a common ground because they see those spending as a necessary part of the federal budget.
Hence, let’s move all the healthcare and entitlement related spending outside of the budget (more in this matter is in this post: “Conservative Liberals – future Porgs of the political America”).
In that case there will be no problem to discuss (well, tax code still will have lots of loopholes to be fixed, but that requires a different conversation).
Note, I do not suggest to eliminate healthcare and entitlement programs.
Of course, we have to keep them and make them effective and broadly accessible.
Of course, we will need money to pay for them.
But those money should not be regulated by the congressional or White House budgetary committee (or whatever committee regulates the budget).
Instead, the Congress needs to establish two more “federal reserve”– type entities: a “healthcare federal reserve”, and an “entitlement federal reserve”.
Each “reserve” will be run by the board of independent appointees.
Each year each board will be calculating the amount of funds needed to pay for the related spending.
Then, that amount will be distributed among “income holders” (individuals or establishments/corporations) accordingly to the equation the board will come up with (higher income means more money).
Each “income holder” will have to send a specific amount of money directly to each “reserve”.
That money cannot and will not be called a “tax”; it will be a “fee” every “income holder” will need to pay.
That individual amount of money, each “income holder” will have to send to each “reserve”, will depend on the total amount of funds the reserve will need to accumulate on an annual basis.
Hence, every year that amount of money may be different, depending on the needs of the “reserves”.
That means, everyone paying this “fee” will be interested in decreasing the amount of funds needed for each “reserve”.
Everyone, including big corporations!
Imagine, one runs a big company, and one has to pay a healthcare cost for one’s employees, and it is huge. Maybe one will begin to reaching out to insurers and hospitals and start pushing them to drop the cost down?
Imagine one runs a big company, and one pays the employees so little, that they have to apply for federal help from the “entitlement reserve”. Maybe one will begin to think about raising their wages?
Naturally, the path from an idea to a legislation takes long time and a lot of effort, but someone somewhere sometime should start trying out creative approaches.
And that requires imagination, creativity, knowledge of human psychology, and ability to step outside of the well-established dogmas.

BTW: that requires a good education on a massive scale (e.g. “Backpack full of cash”).

FYI: that requires reforming the way education is being reformed (e.g. “Education Reform Needs a New Paradigm”).